Fall is such a beautiful season. The mountains are ablaze with rich yellows, deep russets, and fiery reds. Fortunately for us we live in a place that experiences all four of the seasons. Spring is a time of rebirth and summer beckons like a welcoming friend begging you to relax and linger awhile. Next come fall with its brilliant colors ushering in change; followed by winter, a stark contrast; that is also a time for renewal. Seasons change and each season has a purpose. Ecclesiastes tell us that there is a season, and a time for every purpose.
As we go through life we will also experience many changes and find ourselves in different seasons. There is a time to be born and also a time of rebirth. We come into this world in need. Seemingly innocent, yet born into sin. Thus, we begin our journey. We will experience times of great joy and deep sorrow. We will know love and endure the pain of loss. There will be a time when laughter comes easily and a time when weeping fills the night.
Yes, life’s journey takes us through many seasons. However, with spring comes rebirth. This is a tine that celebrates life. An exciting time. Nicodemus had heard of such a time of rebirth, so he asked Jesus, “How is it that I should be born again?” Not understanding that it wasn’t the same as his first birth, which was a physical one. Nicodemus soon found out that his second birth would be a spiritual birth. Now Nicodemus’ eyes were opened to his purpose.
No doubt Nicodemus had experienced love and loss. Perhaps he had felt great joy and deep sorrow. He was a man who had laughed, who had danced, a man who had known love. Nicodemus probably thought he was living life to its fullest until he met Jesus and experienced a new birth. Maybe you, like Nicodemus are thinking about what it means to be born again, to experience a rebirth. To find a new purpose in your life. Being born into a spiritual birth never means you won’t go through seasons that bring great change into your life. But, it does mean that now you can find purpose in every season.
Summer with its lazy long days brings many opportunities to enjoy life. But, summer can lull you into complacency. I must be careful in this season, for even now I must be about my Father’s business. Jesus was a young child when he became separated from his family. On their way back from Jerusalem they realized that Jesus was not with them. His family returned to Jerusalem to look for him. They found him going about his Father’s business. Sometimes we may have to give up that fishing trip or rearrange family plans.
When Jesus came upon Peter and John, they were in a very important season for fisherman. Peak season. Yet, they left their nets to follow Jesus. He told them to come with him and he would make them fishers of men. Peter and John chose to change their season. Now they were about to experience a new purpose in their lives. There is a time for every season, a time for every purpose. Seasons change.
Jesus and his disciples continued in his ministry. There are many accounts in the Bible of people going through great changes. Many where healed, some were delivered, others were raised from the dead. Everywhere Jesus went someone experienced a new season, a new purpose. When Jesus went to Peter’s house, he saw that Peter’s mother-in-law was sick of a fever. Jesus touched her and her fever left. She experienced a new season, a new purpose. Later that same evening many people were brought to Jesus and as he spoke the word many were delivered, and all of them were healed. Many people that day entered into a new season, each had a new purpose.
Jesus continued to carry out his purpose in every season. As he prayed in the garden before his crucifixion he realized his purpose must be fulfilled. He was about to enter into a new season, a new purpose. Soon Jesus would lay down his life. Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to live, and a time to die.
You probably heard the story of how Jesus died and rose again on the third day, and how he made this sacrifice because he loves you so much, and he wants you to have a new season, a new purpose. Jesus wants you to experience a rebirth. He came into this world not to condemn you, but to set you free in every season. Ecclesiastes tells us to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven, and God has made everything beautiful in its time.
Rev. Michael and Darlene Hartwell are pastors of Verdunville Church of God and members of the Logan Ministerial Association.